Student support programs

Find out more about programs in schools to support students who:

  • have minimal English skills and have recently arrived in South Australia
  • may be considered gifted
  • could benefit from a student mentoring program.

Support to learn English

Students with minimal English who have recently arrived in South Australia may be eligible for support to learn English for living and studying in South Australia.

Intensive English language centres and new arrivals program centres

Newly arrived primary school students can enrol in an Intensive English Language Centre (IELC). Secondary school students can enrol in a New Arrivals Program (NAP). These programs help students by providing:

  • intensive English language support from specialist teachers of English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD)
  • a modified curriculum for school-aged children
  • a variety of activities within the school and local community, including excursions and social events
  • bilingual classroom support.

Classes are small and students generally stay in the program for up to 1 year. Some students are eligible for more than 1 year in the program.

Translated information

English version of translated brochures (PDF 154KB)


To be eligible you must enrol at an IELC or NAP within 12 months of arriving in Australia, or 18 months for children beginning school in reception or year 1.

Some categories of temporary visa holders are not eligible for IELC or NAP programs or may need to pay a fee. The school will talk to you about this during enrolment.

For information about enrolment phone your nearest centre or the EALD program on 8226 2756.

Students 5 to 12 years old

Students between the ages of 5 and 12 years can enrol in an IELC at one of the designated primary schools. Classes are organised according to individual needs.

Students are continuously assessed and parents are advised when they are ready to leave the program to join mainstream classes.

Teachers receive an exit report from the IELC teacher to help children with the transition to mainstream schooling.

IELC and NAP locations

Primary school Location Phone and email
Bellevue Heights Primary School 7-19 Vaucluse Crescent
Bellevue Heights SA 5050
8278 7182
Blair Athol North Birth to 7 School Marmion Avenue
Blair Athol SA 5084
8168 0700
Clovelly Park Primary School 1 Renown Place
Clovelly Park SA 5042
8276 5366
Cowandilla Primary School 21 Jenkins Street
Cowandilla SA 5033
8443 7800
Darlington Primary School 9-11 White Crescent
Seacombe Gardens SA 5047
8296 3318
East Torrens Primary School 12 Robson Road
Hectorville SA 5073
8337 1411
Elizabeth Downs Primary School Heard Street
Elizabeth Downs SA 5113
8255 2726
Elizabeth Vale Primary School Rollison Road
Elizabeth Vale SA 5112
8255 1307
Gilles Street Primary School 91 Gilles Street
Adelaide SA 5000
8223 5184
Goodwood Primary School 140 Goodwood Road
Goodwood SA 5034
8271 2280
Hampstead Primary School Muller Road
Greenacres SA 5086
8261 2248
Ingle Farm Primary School 2 Belalie Street
Ingle Farm SA 5098
8262 4864
Kilkenny Primary School Jane St,
West Croydon SA 5008
8345 4138
Mount Gambier North R to 7 Primary School Heath Street
Mount Gambier SA 5290
8725 2824
PenningtonR to 7 School Butler Avenue,
Pennington SA 5013
8447 1933
Richmond Primary School 8 Surrey Road,
Keswick SA 5035
8293 1863
Salisbury North R to 7 School 38 Bagster Road
Salisbury North SA 5108
8258 1519
The Pines R to 7 School 42 Andrew Smith Drive
Parafield Gardens SA 5107
8281 2199

Students 13 to 18 years old

The Adelaide Secondary School of English is the only metropolitan government school that caters to newly arrived students between the ages of 13 and 18.

The school offers:

  • intensive English lessons across the curriculum
  • placement in a range of classes based on English language ability, age and educational background
  • opportunities to learn about the local community and global citizenship
  • an introduction to the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) through the Personal Learning Plan in year 10
  • support to move to a mainstream government, independent or Catholic high school
  • information and access to training or courses
  • a wide range of support services through the various student well-being programs.

Contact the Adelaide Secondary School of English:

For those students living in the south-east of South Australia, there is an IELC is available at:

Other country areas

Families of non-English speaking backgrounds in other country areas may have access to support services through the English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) program.

Phone the EALD Program on 8226 2756 for more information.

Students over 17

Students over 17 who want to study full-time in an adult environment can enrol in the NAP centre at Thebarton Senior College.

Students may receive credit toward the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) when completing this program.

Contact Thebarton Senior College:

Gifted and talented education

Opportunities in mainstream education

Government schools and preschools have programs for gifted and talented children as part of the standard curriculum.

Specialised courses and programs

A number of schools offer specialised courses and programs for students:

  • with a special interest
  • who are well ahead of their peers
  • demonstrating talent in a particular area.

Ignite program - accelerated learning at high school

Three public high schools in Adelaide provide accelerated learning through the Ignite program. They are:

The Ignite program is fast-paced and contains less review and repetition than the normal curriculum because gifted students usually understand concepts quickly. Students can accelerate through school to complete years 8, 9 and 10 in two years or opt for a program that focuses on moving faster through subjects or expanding on them, rather than skipping grades.

Features of the Ignite program include:

  • selective entry for students into year 8 based on a four-part test
  • students working with intellectual peers
  • focus on critical, creative and caring thinking
  • special technology and resources
  • flexible timetabling.

For more information please contact one of the schools listed above.

Support for gifted and talented learners

Gifted and talented learners may need additional support from parents to feel accepted, valued and have opportunities to interact with peers. Parents may wish to speak to the school about:

  • referral to a psychologist, school counsellor or expert in gifted development
  • help with subject and career choice, especially where students are accelerated into SACE, vocational training or university
  • Individual Education Plans.

Individual education plans for gifted and talented students

Some gifted and talented students may require an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to help guide their learning and ensure their overall wellbeing. Individual Education Plans might be required by students who:

  • need significant social or emotional support
  • have requirements that cannot be met in their classroom or at the school
  • have uneven development between areas such as verbal and non-verbal performance
  • have learning difficulties or disabilities that require support
  • enroll early in kindergarten or school
  • are to be accelerated through a year level
  • are assessed by psychologists as being in the 98th percentile or above of the intellectually gifted range and are capable of working at a significantly higher level than classmates of the same age.

Aboriginal children have an individual learning plan that incorporates the curriculum needs of gifted Aboriginal children and students.

Student mentoring

Students might be able to access a mentoring program, where they spend time at their school with a mentor offering support and guidance. Mentoring is based on building confidence through positive relationships and shared experiences and can encourage successful participation in school.

Not all schools have active mentoring programs.

Becoming involved

Parents and caregivers can talk to the principal or the classroom teacher to find out if their school has a mentoring program and if their child may benefit from being involved. The principal or teacher might suggest other ways that the school can support the student.

Volunteers as mentors

Volunteers might be matched, screened and trained to mentor students in schools. The aim of a volunteer mentor is to assist students of all ages to reach their full potential by bringing young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement.

Volunteer mentors support students by:

  • demonstrating positive relationships
  • developing trust, respect and understanding of others
  • communicating effectively
  • working through problems
  • encouraging positive life choices.

The student, mentor and teacher decide together how the time will be spent. Sessions are held at school and might involve:

  • developing or researching student's ideas to set goals
  • general conversation
  • hands-on activities - eg craft, cooking, playing board games or sport.

Becoming volunteer

Adults can volunteer to become community mentors in government primary schools. However, not all schools have a community volunteer mentoring program.

Community mentor volunteers will be assisted by the school to:

To find out more contact the schools in your area to see if they are running a volunteer mentoring program.

Other school-based mentoring

Students might also be able to receive mentoring from school staff or professional mentors, through their school.

These mentors work one-on-one or in a small group to establish a support plan based on students' individual needs. This support offers guidance and encouragement to:

  • develop positive wellbeing and optimism
  • improve educational participation and achievement
  • develop individual learning plans to improve literacy and numeracy skills
  • establish effective relationships
  • set positive goals for the future
  • build personal, career development and employment skills.

Mentors might be school-based staff, suitably trained professionals or agency mentors. All mentors should:

  • undertake mentor training
  • complete a screening program
  • be supported with ongoing professional development.

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Page last updated 2 March 2023

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